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Flexible drive wood working

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Chippygeoff

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Hi Everyone.

I have just crept over here from the wood turning section, I don't normally wander like this but I need some help from you guys out there. I want to buy a flexible drive system, something like a proxxon or a dremel or even something from Axy. The main purpose for this is to add decoration and texturing to some of the items I make on the lathe. I suppose its a bit like taking up golf and you haven't got a clue, you go into the shop and there are hundreds of clubs, what ones do you choose. I have never done anything like this before and completely in the dark and I don't know anyone who does it either. Some of the flexible drives are hand drills taking bits up to 10mm, thats not what I want, I think the one I want takes 3.2mm bits that are readily available in all shapes and sizes. This is where I am confused again, there are milling bits, burrs, rasp etc,here are hundreds of them. I don't want to buy what I don't need so if anyone can point me in the right direction I would be very grateful.
 

9fingers

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Just something to consider-- Do you actually need a flexible drive? A dremel is quite light to handle and will deliver more than enough power for what you want with out having a flexi snake to drag behind it.

my 2p

Bob
 

Lons

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9fingers":fayw3xy3 said:
Just something to consider-- Do you actually need a flexible drive? A dremel is quite light to handle and will deliver more than enough power for what you want with out having a flexi snake to drag behind it.

my 2p

Bob
I'd second what Bob says, and you can get boxed kits of large assortment of burrs, little sanding / cutting disks and polishers from various sources. Even seen them in Lidl and Aldi.

Bob
 

Chippygeoff

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I didn't even consider a hand held one, it sounds a brilliant idea, it sounds as if it would be a lot more versatile than a flexi shaft. Thanks guys. Just need to sort out what bits I need now, it is mainly for adding decoration and texturing to my turned pieces, maybe some flower type decoration on lids of boxes or a band pattern on a spindle. Keep the advice coming everyone. I need it.

Geoff
 

powertools

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Never seen much point in a flexi shaft, just a little too much pressure and it will end up in a knot. Hand held is the way to go.
 

Lons

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Chippygeoff":31z3x14x said:
I didn't even consider a hand held one, it sounds a brilliant idea, it sounds as if it would be a lot more versatile than a flexi shaft. Thanks guys. Just need to sort out what bits I need now, it is mainly for adding decoration and texturing to my turned pieces, maybe some flower type decoration on lids of boxes or a band pattern on a spindle. Keep the advice coming everyone. I need it.

Geoff
Hi Geoff

I mentioned cheap bits - just type rotary burrs into ebay search and you'll see what I mean

Bob
 

Jonzjob

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I have both and it's horses for courses and one of the flexi drives I have is the Axy heavy duty jod and I use it mainly for power sanding where it is turning a 2" disk on rotating wood bits. No problems even with the torque that is going through the flexy shaft.

I have a battery Dremel and a mains Dremel and they are good for the smaller jobs, but if I have to do very much in the way of cutting then I find the flexi drive more comfortable to use.

It is just what you are comfortable with?
 

Eric The Viking

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["... and now it's time for the Rambling Proxxon Owner..."]

I had a B+D mains one, which died in a shower of sparks. I've now got one of the least expensive Proxxons, which has been thoroughly abused but refuses to quit.

Some observations:
  • Cutting speed matters enormously. The smallest cutting/grinding tools are almost useless, as they don't have the diameter to give you a decent surface speed.
  • That said, you can get them into places and finish things you wouldn't think possible any other way (I rebuilt the spirals on a pair of huge rising butt hinges by repeatedly welding-then-grinding).
  • The cheap Lidl-type sets are brilliant value, especially the burr tools for wood.
  • The cardboard drum sanding things don't last any time at all, which isn't really surprising I guess.
  • Dremel do extra-thick cutting discs for metal. They're really good. Ditto their (expensive) diamond discs.
  • Proxxon do a very thin, flexible saw blade, mainly for wood. It's amazing.
  • The things do run hot.
  • The Proxxon's on/off switch is badly sited, so it's easy to knock it on by accident, and the spindle lock can be caught by a stray finger when you're working. The build quality makes up for these points, but they are annoying.
  • The B+D had a mechanical interlock between spindle lock and power switch for tool changes. Much better arrangement than the Proxxon.
  • The Proxxon has a keyless chuck which works well. It comes with a few small twist drills, the smallest being 0.5mm. The B+D had a spannered collet, which was the spawn of Satan.
  • Most Proxxons (and most of the others) take a flexible drive as an accessory. I've never seen the need, but you get the best of both worlds that way.
  • The Proxxon's blown plastic carry case is as useful for the purpose as a housebrick would be. It's too small and there's nowhere for the cable or the UK mains plug. The cutters are fragile, and I haven't devised storage (yet) that's compact but keeps everything safe.
  • On both the ones I had, the mains cable is/was quite inflexible in cold weather. Legally, you're no longer supposed to fit thin mains cable to things (as a manufacturer - elves and satyrs), but I have a small amount of 3A 3-core left (thin, flexible and circular). A cable change is scheduled...
  • Get one you can hang up. If they fall off the bench (because of the awkward cable), the cutter usually bends or shatters.

[that's enough rambling, Ed.]

Years back I couldn't see the point of these things ("toy drills"); now I wouldn't be without mine.

E.
 

Benchwayze

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I have a flexidrive that came with my Dremel, which I bought about 10 years ago. To date I haven't used the drive in anger. In trials it worked well though, so I kept it on the basis that one day I might find a use for it. It would enable me to get a drill bit into places that a hand-brace wouldn't fit I suppose. Although how accurate it would be remains to be seen.

HTH

John :)
 

wallace

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I bought a dremmel with a flexi shaft from a car boot recently and have used it a bit, I suspended the drill from the ceiling but have found that when useing the flexi like this its quite difficult to be accurate because it sways too much. It came with a huge amount of rotary burs, sanders and router bits aswell as a mini pillar drill stand. It was a bit sad really, their was this old chap selling the contents of his workshop because he could no longer manage. I thought that is me in 30 years
 

Benchwayze

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I know the 'old chap's' feelings Wal.

That's me in ten years time! (If I am realistic... 5? ) 8)

John :mrgreen:
 

Lons

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Geoff

Wife dragged me into Lidl this morning and they have a small rotary kit including accessories for £20. Worth a punt possibly if you have a store near you?

Bob
 
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